New York

Vanessa Beecroft

Deitch Projects

The creepily lifelike sculptures of photorealists like Duane Hanson or John De Andrea permit prurient curiosity: You’re allowed to stare, to note bodily imperfections (and perfections) in a way that would seem impermissible in the presence of live subjects. Vanessa Beecroft’s performances, on the other hand, invite us to gawk at living, breathing men and women, human statues of a sort, who stand still and submit to viewers’ stares without returning them. At the Guggenheim in 1998, Beecroft set up rows of fashion models dad in not much more than impressively high heels, and while such an event may have been calculated to draw the attention of an art community deeply envious of fashion’s aura of glamour and sexiness, the choice of subjects also made the project’s reflexive nature as perspicuous as possible. Modeling is all about representation, particularly self-representation; in that sense

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